back to article Google Instant Pages: Search sites rendered before you click

Google has unveiled several new desktop and mobile search tools, including a Chrome service known as Instant Pages that attempts to accelerate your searches by rendering pages before you actually click on them. Already available with the developer version of Google Chrome – and due to arrive in the next stable version of the …


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  1. The BigYin


    ...the browser reads-ahead on the results links to give you that "instant page"? That's Old Skool that is.

    Watch your bandwidth caps and fair-usage clauses, people.

    1. The First Dave

      @The BigYin

      Wot? No mention of AVG and more to the point, the about-face that they had to do a little while back when they tried this?

  2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    more fail

    Pity they can't fix the existing interface first. The wretched instant search still paints the search results, then blanks the page until you click search. Time was when I went to google for an uncluttered page, not a heap of crazy flashing jumping previews.

    1. Alpha Tony

      @Adrian 4/instant search

      Turn it off then. 3 clicks and it's disabled.

      1. TimeMaster T

        better off by default

        My browser is set to clear cookies when it closes, so turning it off every time has a high nuisance factor for me. Easier to just find another search engine that doesn't try to be fancy, like Google used to be.

        If you want to leave persistent cookies on your system fine. Don't expect every one else to feel the same way you do about things.

    2. David Hicks

      At least they could give us a way to switch most of it off

      That would be nice.

      I've found a way to stop the irritating preview panels appearing by blocking some of the stuff involved with adblock.

      I too miss the days when there was just a logo, a text input box and some results.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Was thinking the same thing about the GMail interface last night!

      When did Google decide to abandon simplicity and start adding shinies?

    4. Sir Cosmo Bonsor

      I can't help but notice

      the single Google employee downvoting anyone who notes that Google's interface is now a complete mess.

  3. TimeMaster T
    Thumb Down

    Right ....

    Unless this is off by default I'm going to be looking for a new search engine.

    1. Pete B
      Thumb Up

      Title says it all.

      1. TimeMaster T
        Thumb Up


        bookmarked it for later.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Did they just make actual pageview count dependent on client-side Javascript? (the Page Visibility API)

    Was the web this broken already?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Guess Google assumes everyone has unlimited data

    Every Android user paying for their data is going to see their monthly bills go up for every time Google's guess is wrong. Often when I'm looking for someone via Google I'll do several searches in a row, refining my terms slightly after seeing the top 10 results of the first search. Having pages downloaded automatically when I'm not using the results of that particular search except as a guide to a subsequent search is wasteful.

    @TImeMasterT - you do realize this is in the Chrome browser, not the Google search engine itself, right? If you use Chrome and don't like that it defaults to on, I'm sure the option will exist to turn it off.

    1. TimeMaster T


      Yeah, it may be only in Chrome now. But how long before its added to the main page?

      If they don't, great. If they do, I take my searches elsewhere.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge


    Let me see, generally speaking a web page shows up in 1.5 seconds. In human time, that's already pretty much instantaneous.

    But of course, in a population already living in the now, it is pure entitlement to have everything RIGHT NOW, thus this product will probably be a success.

    Unless, of course, people start clamoring for the first 5 links to be prerendered - which they will do tomorrow.

    I wonder what happens to malware in this scenario ? Make a search that has its first link pointing to a hacked site spewing drive-by downloadable gunk, but click on the 3rd search result and never know where you got the virus from - now that is an interesting scenario.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Image Search was F'd in the A some time ago, Auto-suggest is the first thing to switch off, and now this.

    I just want a plain text field in the middle of the screen! Take all your unhelpful crap away and stick it up your hole!

  8. SuperTim

    google ads increase!

    So the top link (which people pay increasing amounts of money to guarantee) is now automatically rendered (presumably with adverts). Does that mean google gets revenue for the adverts on that page even if you don't want to visit it, based entirely on the fact you typed an adword? I hope that isn't "evil".

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Defence lawyers please note

    Lemme see. So, researching physics, I type something like "bottom naked charm". Google decides to send me the most popular of the search results as an Instant Page™. Now I've got pr0n in my web cache without even knowing. Great.

  10. GettinSadda

    Instant Exploit!

    So let me get this right...

    If there is a browser exploit that a page can trigger, now it is just a case of having it turn up in Google search results - you don't even have to visit the page to be infected!

    1. Hoodlum

      Re: Instant Exploit!

      Not sure to be honest, depends if they're also going to execute javascript in the background as well as rendering the page, or suspend its execution until you click the link

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not all exploits are Javascript Hoodlum..

        as title

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Image Search already does this

        On client PCs, I have seen Google Image Search triggering virus warnings on some anti-virus products. Seemed to be killing scripts of some form right there on the new Google Search page.

  11. Dave Murray Silver badge


    Thanks for wasting my bandwidth Google - at home, mobile and in the data centre. All because 5s is a loooong time.

  12. Bilgepipe
    Thumb Down


    It's getting so difficult to get Google to actually search for what you type rather than what they think you should be looking for that the topmost couple of results are rarely what I'm after.

    All this does is waste bandwidth

  13. Tim Bates

    Here's an idea Google...

    How about making it so that when I search for something, you bloody well give me results for what I asked for instead of guessing everything I do.

    And eff off with that instant crap. I find it highly annoying to have crap flittering around my screen while I type. Yes, I have it turned off, but I because I often use different computers (not mine so logging in isn't a good fix), I don't really want to be turning it off every few days.

    1. The Sprocket


      I couldn't agree more.

      How about Google sorts out its primary business (search) before running off to answer a question nobody asked? I've had it with them. (*rolls eyes*)

      This 'instant page' thing is just another excuse to suck people into using Chrome, as far as I'm concerned. No sale here -- especially for a 5 sec save. (*rolls eyes*)

      The whole 'latest browser' thing really turned me off too. How techno-elitist. All to facilitate more answers to questions nobody asked. (*rolls eyes*)

      Google . . . #fail

  14. captain_ken


    Isn't it pretty much what the fasterfox plugin has been doing for years, but for any site you go to. So maybe it doesn't predict what you're going to click but it's pretty much the same thing. I can see it being harsh on bandwidth costs for high ranking websites unless google pump over the google cached stuff in the background, then when clicking you pull the latest page data but much of your images etc will be there instantly. As much as these people above shout about it, they do want pages instantly and with a little effort to ensure no-one is getting stung for it it should be a good feature.

  15. captain_ken

    It's not going to virusicate you.

    Come on, it's not going to open and run the page automatically, chill with the end of the world dramatics, you will not be virus infested by this it's going to do just step one in that it will download the page data, images etc, it will only render that data and run any script on the page if you actually click the link.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Which part of "pre-render" (as written in the article) you don't get?

      Try to read the fine article next time.

      1. captain_ken

        Prerender? That's the catchy term they use

        Now try reading about what it actually does, it pre downloads the resources in the background.

  16. g e


    This sounds like it's going to muller some folks' site stats...?

  17. Mr Templedene

    Pages I design open very fast already

    All this will do is increase my bandwidth and feed false data into my stats.

    Part of how I judge a site is based on the speed a page loads, if a site crawls into existence I know they either have cheap hosting or bad developers.

  18. TeeCee Gold badge

    Hmm, rings a bell.....

    Sounds like this one should fall foul of all the objections levelled at AVGs link scanning tech, mostly webmasters screaming blue murder about the pointless traffic hike of no value to them whatsoever.

    I'd heard that each generation is doomed to repeat the mistakes of its ancestors, but this is taking the piss.....

  19. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    idempotent - denoting an element of a set that is unchanged...

    There are idiot web developers at major web sites using HTTP GET links to initiate actions. This will completely destroy their customer data.

  20. JDX Gold badge


    hark at the geeks complaining about a friendly UI. nothing new there then.

  21. Mr Young

    Hey dudes - Instant instantly off!

    I changed my Google shortcut to "". Seems to work for me but I'd have to double check that link though - what would I know anyhow?

  22. skeptical i
    Thumb Down

    As one of the last people on dialup ...

    ... waiting for crap to preload that I don't/won't want is just wrong. When I'm trawling for news and know that a high percentage of hits are going to be repostings/ regurgitations of the same source article, there is NO POINT in preloading these. Also, "instant page" eliminates the option of showing more than ten results per page, which is generally a time saver (less time to load one page of 50 hits than five pages of 10). I'm sure some people will find this service useful, so make the darn thing "check out this new thing/ opt in" for these folks and leave it off by default for the rest of us.

    @Pete B: thank you VERY MUCH for the link to Scroogle, I will definitely be making use of it. It's a shame I can not search or sort by date (to get, say, news from the past 24 hours), but I appreciate that it's lean and mean by design and can take "by date" searches to the big evil as needed.

  23. Trev 2

    Won't skew web stats of Google Analytics...

    I assume that it doesn't actually run the J/script during the rendering process and thus just downloads images, j/script etc. ready for the user? Would seem the most logical idea otherwise it'll end up slowing the browser.

    If so then some web stats won't be skewed by this including Google Analytics as that's pretty much purely javascript and thus won't use any more Google resources. Any web stats on the server of course will be skewed - great!

    Wonder if there'll be an opt out for web sites as really big sites like Amazon and of course Google themselves are going to get seriously slammed.

  24. Chris Evans

    A compromise?

    How about looking up the dns record for each link, that can sometimes be slow! It wouldn't have any security implications and not significant re bandwidth.

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